Responding to the new Public Health England report ‘Health Profile for England’, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“This ground-breaking PHE analysis shows how deprivation can lead to long-term ill health and premature death for the most deprived.
“We know that those living in the most deprived communities experience poorer mental health, higher rates of smoking and greater levels of obesity than the more affluent. They spend more years in ill health and they die sooner. Reducing health inequalities is an economic and social challenge as well as a moral one.
“Since 2013, local government has been responsible for public health in England and has specific responsibilities to tackle health inequalities as well as improving the public’s health overall.
“Local authorities and their public health teams understand how to use their traditional functions in conjunction with their newly acquired public health expertise to maximise the role councils can play in closing the unjust health inequalities gap. But reductions in councils’ public health grants of more than £530 million by the end of the decade will impact on councils’ ability to continue this good work.
“Central government has to play its part in reducing poverty and breaking the link between deprivation, ill health and lower life expectancy.”